Summer is still weeks away but as Julia has mentioned a few times we are DEEP into the season for warm-weather eats. It’s the season for cold beer, burgers, hot dogs, potato salad. You know, all that tasty baseball game friendly food. But sometimes you wanna class things up a bit with a little cold seafood. So why a crab roll? Besides the fact that they’re gorgeous and wash down great with a cold pilsner. Lobster rolls have the deeper name recognition.
Well, unpopular opinion here, but crab is tastier than lobster. Crab has a natural sweetness that pairs beautifully with salty and spicy flavors, and a more appealing texture than the frequently bland chewy lobster you’ll get from your grocery store. Crab is also easier to cook, mostly because it usually comes pre-cooked! Yes, lobster fresh out of the waters of Maine is phenomenal, but have you ever tried to crack one of those? You could lose an eye, a finger, your pride. The point is that crab is easier to use and the higher quality varieties are easier to obtain. That said, you could make this exact same salad with snow crab or Jonah crab and it would still be tasty and with those two types of crab you’re looking at about 1/4 the price per lb as lobster or king crab.
In this case I went with the second best option, or the best depending on how you feel about king crab; Dungeness crab. We’re lucky out here in the Pac-NW because we can frequently find whole Dungeness crab at our local seafood markets or even sometimes Whole Foods. But for this example I went with a pre-packaged container of lump Dungeness crab. This container was not cheap, so if you balk at the $30 price tag, look out for the lump snow crab packages by the same company, available at about half the price. OR if you’re willing to work for your meat, you can buy some legs of whatever crab you want, steam, grill or bake ’em, crack ’em and pick ’em. It’s a whole lot more work but potentially much more budget friendly.